Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League against Bayern Munich, losing 3-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate, despite landing the first blow with a stunning Patrice Evra goal to give the Reds the lead at Allianz Arena.
However, the advantage lasted a mere 22 seconds after the restart in a dramatic, frenetic and ultimately decisive 10-minute spell in which Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Muller put the home side in front. Arjen Robben then added a third on 76 minutes to all but extinguish United hopes of progress.
The Reds had defended manfully during an ideal away display in the first half. Bayern typically had the vast majority of play but Chris Smalling led a resolute Reds defence in the opening 45 minutes.
So cagey was the contest that it took until the 55th minute for either side to test the opposing goalkeeper. That came via a long-range Shinji Kagawa effort that Neuer saved with ease. But it sparked belief in United and within two minutes David Moyes' men were in front. It was Evra's third strike in a fruitful season in front of goal – and perhaps the best he'll ever score. Valencia's cut-back fell to him on the far edge of the box and he hit it sweetly, first time, in off the bar.
Bayern hit back immediately through Mandzukic. In that spell, the tie could have tipped either way. Rooney spurned a chance to regain the lead with a scuffed quick-fire shot from 12 yards – one he might have converted if fully-fit – but Bayern made United pay with two knockout blows. European football is no guarantee next season and this loss hurts more because of it, but the Reds went toe-to-toe with Bayern and can walk out heads held high.